Brand health is the strength of your brand. It’s calculated by the amount of trust and confidence consumers have in it. It’s measured by your distribution and your sales—your ACV (all commodity volume). Effectively it’s what you take to the bank. Natural Products Expo East can help you dramatically improve your brand health by connecting you with key natural products retailers and natural and organic industry experts.
Let me explain.
Have you ever heard of Dan’s Crunchy Granola? Probably not; I just made it up. The point: If I take my new brand to a health food store and ask the retailer to put it on its shelves next to other products, I’m expecting the store to take a risk on an unknown and unproven brand. Anything that I can do to help demonstrate and amplify the strength of my brand, the quality of my products and my brand’s ability to drive category sales will help me get it on the retailer shelves. Natural Products Expo is a strategic way to turbocharge the process of building a brand through exposure to key retailers looking for innovative ways to increase sales.
During the rest of the year, a brand sitting on a natural foods retailer’s shelf waits patiently for shoppers to trickle by and hopefully pick it up and take it home with them. This is further complicated by promotions on competitive products—essentially paying the shopper to choose their product over yours. The hope is that your brand will prove itself so that you can increase your distribution. Nirvana for any brand is when the shopper chooses to pay full retail for your product over the promoted competition.
New and unproven brands need to continually fight for shelf space and profitable distribution. Increasing distribution means increased sales—sales increase because your items are made available to a greater number of shoppers. Successful well-respected and trusted brands have few hurdles to getting a retailer to accept new items and line extensions. This is because they have already proven that they can increase sales and shopper foot traffic. One of the primary benefits exhibiting at Natural Products Expo, is that it gives new brands instant exposure to top retailers. Instead of waiting for a single shopper to buy one granola bar and growing your distribution one store at a time, Natural Products Expo makes it possible to potentially sell several pallets to large retailers with several stores spread across the country. Expo also provides an excellent opportunity for brands to showcase new items.
Taking full advantage of an opportunity such as Expo East can dramatically, and almost instantly, skyrocket a brand from obscurity to a brand in great demand. This requires a strategy to maximize every selling opportunity while the show doors are open. This means having plenty of samples, marketing materials, business cards and friendly helpful staff members to properly greet and engage as many people as possible. Brands also need to have a follow-up strategy—make certain you reconnect and follow up with everyone you talk to. Treat everyone who visits your booth with the same dignity and respect. You never know who has the ear of the storeowner.
What strategies do you use at Expo East to follow up with the people who show an interest in your brand?